UK Border Agency International Operations and Visas - BETA

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Visas

11 October 2012



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Communications


UK Border Agency

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UK Border Agency International Operations and visas is the department
responsible for visa issues overseas at diplomatic missions.



2,400 staff in 130 countries around the world



Over 100 nationalities require visas



Over 300 places to enrol biometrics



162 VACs in 106 countries and overseas territories



59 decision making centres in 54 countries and overseas territories.



UK Border Agency International
Operations and Visas (background)

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Commercial Partners


Globally we work with VFS and CSC (World bridge) who run our visa
application centres (VACs).



The VACs play no part in the decision making process



The VACs collect fees and input the applicant data, including the
enrolment of biometrics



They also deliver applications to the visa office and collect them


when the decision has been made.




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Visa application process

Checks
normally take
24
-
48 hours

“Hub and spoke”
model

improves efficiency

and consistency

Application made




online or at Visa

Application

Centre (VAC)

Documents

sent to
visa section


or “hub”

Biometric and

biographical details


checked in UK

Further checks


conducted on key

documentation

Entrance Clearance

Officer

makes decision


with all information

available

All
applicants

must attend

VAC or visa

section to

provide biometrics

Vignette added

and passport

returned to VAC

Visa granted

Visa refused

Passport and key

documents returned

to VAC

Right of Appeal

(non
-
PBS cases)

Admin review

(PBS cases)

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The UK Border Agency’s position is (and has been for many years) that any
visitor wishing to undertake a course of study (whether it be recreational or
academic) must apply as a student visitor.



Please note;


It is not the case that a general visitor who is admitted as a tourist, changes
their intentions once in the UK and then seeks to enrol on a course of study
can do so, since this was not the category under which they were admitted.




We are aware that it is difficult to identify different categories of visitors who
are non
-
visa nationals since they all get the same endorsement in their
passports.


Some officers will write in the passport ‘SV’ or ‘GV’ but it’s not a
legal requirement for them to do so.


Visitor visas review

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Student visitors

Visitors are not permitted to undertake a course of study without
permission. Visitors who intend to undertake a short course or period of
study may apply as a
student visitor




For short courses up to six months




No permission to work




Extension not permitted in the UK.




Accreditation can be from one of the previously recognised bodies e.g.
BAC, Accreditation UK, ABLS and ASIC

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Extended Student Visitors

In January 2011, the UK government introduced the Extended Student Visitor

route, targeted specifically at the English language sector.




For students on 100% English language courses only




For courses over 6 months but not exceeding 11 months




The visa is valid for 11 months.




Students must apply for a visa prior to travelling to the UK


this includes
all non
-
visa nationals.




Other requirements and restrictions
-

same as 6 month student visitor
route


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Applications for consecutive student visitors

Can you apply for consecutive SVVs?

There is nothing stopping students applying for a second SVV. The ECO does,
however, need to be satisfied with the student’s whole application including their
reasons for coming back into the UK as a visitor


Intentions
: Students must clearly explain their intentions to the ECO; if the ECO
questions the student’s intentions, it can be grounds for refusal


Documentation
: As with all applications, students must provide evidence to
support claims made in an application. An application MUST be well
-
supported
with documentation.


The final decision on a consecutive SVV is down to both the student, by providing
relevant evidence and documents, and how the ECO interprets the situation.



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Website and contact (International Group)

Visit and subscribe to our website for all our latest news and
updates as they happen:


www.ukba.homeoffice.gov.uk


www.ukba.homeoffice.gov.uk/news
-
and
-
updates/



Partnership and Engagement Team Mailbox


International Group
(London):


ukbaig
-
stakeholders@homeoffice.gsi.gov.uk